Russia is expected to unveil several high-tech combat vehicles during the country’s World War II Victory Day celebrations scheduled for May 9. The vehicles, as well as other Russian weapons, will be the highlight of an annual event marking the former Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany in 1945.
While Russia has tried to be secretive about the event, a rehearsal for the parade in central Moscow revealed some of the new weaponry for the first time, BBC reported, adding that the Armata T-14 battle tank is the most talked about innovation to be featured in the parade.
Here is a quick rundown of four of the combat vehicles expected to take center stage during Saturday’s event:
The new Armata T-14 battle tank, which was spotted in public for the first time on Monday, is expected to be the highlight of the military parade, in which about 200 pieces of military hardware and 16,500 troops will reportedly take part. The Armata T-14 is touted by the Russian media to be the world’s most powerful tank, the Associated Press (AP) reported, citing Russian and Western military experts.
It is equipped with an unmanned turret and a 125-mm cannon, which can fire both guided missiles and shells. The tank can accommodate two soldiers with better protection than existing Russian tanks as the crew will sit inside a shatterproof chamber, away from the main gun. The tank boasts of a shooting range of more than 2.17 miles, compared to the 1.55-mile range found on older Russian tanks, and modern American and German tanks that have a range between 1.86 miles and 2.17 miles.
The Kurganets-25 is a new Russian infantry fighting vehicle, which comes in two variants -- BTR and BMP. While both variants are armored personnel carriers, the BMP reportedly features more powerful guns and firing equipment. The vehicle is armed with a 30-mm cannon, which has a range of up to 2.5 miles. It also comes with a coaxial 7.62-mm machine gun and 4 Kornet-EM anti-tank guided missile launchers with a maximum range of up to 6.2 miles, according to Military Today. The vehicle's remotely controlled weapon station is separated from the crew.
Boomerang armored personnel carrier
The Boomerang is a newly developed 8x8 infantry fighting vehicle (IFV), which will replace the BTR-series of wheeled IFVs. Its engine is located at the front of a V-shaped hull, and comes with a rear door and rooftop hatches to help a crew of three -- including the commander, gunner and driver -- exit the vehicle.
The 2S35 Koalitsija-SV is a new self-propelled artillery system, which will reportedly replace the ageing 152-mm artillery systems used by the Russian army. The vehicle has a new 152-mm cannon, and weighs about 55 tons. It is designed to destroy an enemy's armor and defense, and can hit targets from as far away as 43 miles, BBC reported, citing the Russian Defense Ministry.